The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers (“industry”) to record payments to physicians on a public database. This effort by the federal government builds on efforts by organized medicine to endorse disclosure policies as a mechanism to help mitigate some of the biases and undue influence that industry financial support may bring to scientific investigations, clinical trials, and patient care.
In academic medicine, an emerging tenet of professionalism is the transparent management of financial relationships between faculty members and industry. Academic-industry collaborations, including financial ties, are vital to the discovery and development of new pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Nearly half of all new drugs have been developed as a result of academic-industry partnerships.1 At the same time, academic-industry ties may have attendant risks. Bekelman et al,2 in a systematic review, reported a statistically significant association between industry financial sponsorship and pro-industry conclusions published by physicians and scientists in academia.
Reddi A. New Guidelines for the Disclosure of Academic-Industry Financial Ties and Modeling Professionalism During Medical Education. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(12):1091–1092. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3480